These are the very best graphics we have seen in a racer for the iPhone and iPad, but is it a complete package?
2XL unveiled TROPHYLITE Rally a month or two ago and demoed some of the technologies they were going to implement to achieve these kinds of visuals. All sounding and looking very impressive and so naturally we were excited for the release.
Circuits, rallies and stages are the three main modes, all scattered throughout fifteen different events. Even though there are three different modes, each feels pretty much identical. And essentially boil down to being time trials. Other racers like Need For Speed Shift on the App Store have plenty of different modes to keep it busy and fresh, something this release is totally lacking.
When racing around the terrains it is rare to ever see more than one vehicle at a time, which is a bit odd at first but TROPHYLITE and rally racing in reality is apparently like this, so it’s realistic. It’s not about overtaking vehicles to get that number one position, it’s about who has the best time. But because each car is set off ahead of each other at the start, it gives the driver a lot less to think about like manoeuvring around vehicles, instead of getting around the course purely the fastest.
The amount of vehicles to choose from is vast. All are evenly matched in performance to start with, but the amount of different colours and body styles is very notable. You can increase performance but not by spending virtual money in a garage where you can tweak every aspect of your vehicle like in NFS ect, which I think would have been a very nice addition if you could. But I don’t think 2XL wanted the game to be taken away from being completely focused on the actual racing.
The graphics are what completely blew me away to begin with. They are quite possibly the best I have ever seen on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The iPad has the slight edge in graphics compared to the iPhone and iPod Touch versions, but all look absolutely stunning. The cockpit view gives the player an amazing view of the beautiful sun in the sky bouncing off the glass window as you go over a bump in the track and sand scattering itself in the air from a vehicles tires in the distance rom drifting around a corner. The textures of sand, rock, mud, sky, plants and well, everything, is basically stunningly incredible with seriously rich detail. These graphics far outpace anything we've previously seen on a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP.
The lighting effects should also be highlighted. Incredible detail has been made to show what colours from textures such as the sand change in richness and color from where the vehicles perspective is. The paintwork bounces off reflections from the light and surroundings, it’s by far the furthest anyone has explored the iPhone’s and iPad’s potential in graphical abilities and I believe the devices can be pushed way further than this. The only complaint I have is that each track begins to look the same as the previous due to everything being set in the desert.
Onto controls, the games default controls I found to be spot on with them being tilt controls to steer the vehicle left and right and an virtual accelerator peddle on the bottom right hand side of the screen and next to that is the brake which I never find myself using. If you don’t like using tilt controls there is also an option to have a virtual on screen steering wheel but I felt that the tilt controls made the game a lot more fun. You can however tweak a great quantity of aspects from the controls which is nice like sensitivity and camera roll. You can also have an assistant that reads out where you need to go in terms of corners ect which I disabled pretty much instantaneously, as it seemed to serve the opposite of it's purpose and distract me.
Overall I would recommend TROPHYLITE Rally to anyone on the lookout for a true rally experience on an iPhone or iPad and if you love iCandy you won’t be disappointed either. However the structure of gameplay is repetitive and may not bore if played in short bursts, but is why we can only award a four star rating.